ISSN 1535-7821 Vol. 26 No. 1 2010
As the end of the MLA year approaches, I wanted to thank our officers and committee chairs for the projects they’ve accomplished this year. The goals we outlined in our planning grid last June have each been accomplished. Let me list them for youUpdate the Top 100 Web Sites
Review and Revise the Managing a CHIS
Cara Helfner and her committee established a wiki, devised policies and procedures for updating and recruited volunteers to write revisions. This goal is on target for completion in 2011.
Develop Criteria for the Consumer Health Librarian Award
Steven Douglas and his committee expanded the description for the criteria used to select the Consumer Health Librarian award. I’m looking forward to this year’s announcement.
Review the issue of CHIS Certificate vs. Credential
Barbara Bibel reviewed the response from Kathleen Coombs and determined that a certificate was the appropriate method of specialization.
Sponsor or Co-Sponsor Four Programs for MLA Annual Conference
Rhonda Allard has done an exceptional job in managing/co managing four programs for this year’s MLA conference. The sessions are:
Thanks for Continuing
A Great Experience-I Suggest you try it!
Working with CAPHIS members has been great fun this year. For all of you who have thought about volunteering but haven’t, I strongly suggested you reconsider. I have found that what I learn from my colleagues saves me double the time I spend working on the committee and improves the outcomes of my daily job. My life is full of great friends and great experiences which are due to committees in which I have participated. Look through the committee list on the CAPHIS web site and send a message to the chair and volunteer!
Submitted by: Ysabel Bertolucci, CAPHIS Chair
The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of MLA held its annual election of officers by Survey Monkey during the week of February 2nd to 9th. The open positions for this round of elections included the offices of chair-elect, treasurer and MLA Nominating Committee Representative. From 481 CAPHIS members, we received 168 completed ballots (35% return rate), with no write-in nominations. Nominees and election results are as follows:
*Jana Lieberman – Former Consumer Health Coordinator for the NNLM/SEA Region and author of the 2nd edition of MLA’s Consumer Health: A Guide to Internet Information Resources. Jana was elected to this office with 77% of the vote.
Justin Robertson - Assistant Director for Public Services at Baugh Biomedical Library at the University of South Alabama, and co-administrator of the Alabama Go Local project.
*Carol Ann Attwood - Coordinator for the Patient and Health Education Library at Mayo Clinic Arizona. Carol Ann was elected to this office with 71% of the vote.
Carol Perryman - 20 year veteran in public, law, and medical libraries, serving as a medical and consumer health librarian in midstate Illinois.
Naomi Broering - Dean of Libraries at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego, former MLA President (1996-97) and recipient of the Noyes Award for Lifetime Achievement.
*Gail Hendler - Head of Information and Access Services at Tufts University Hirsh Health Sciences Library and founding member of New York Online Access to Health (NOAH). Gail was elected to this office with 47% of the vote.
Keydi Boss O’Hagan - Librarian at Holy Name Hospital Medical Staff Library, Consumer Health Library, and School of Nursing Library in Teaneck, NJ.
Congratulations to our newly elected officers!
Submitted by: Kay Hogan Smith, CAPHIS Secretary
Toxicology and Environmental Health (TEHIP)
The National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services (SIS) has released an update for the Toxicology and Environmental Health (TEHIP) page (http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro.html). One of the goals of the update was to make the site more approachable and understandable with the use of images, descriptions, and other tools. The site can now be navigated with less scrolling.
TEHIP maintains a comprehensive toxicology and environmental health information web site that includes access to resources produced by it and by other government agencies and organizations. This web site includes links to databases, bibliographies, tutorials, and other scientific and consumer-oriented resources. TEHIP also is responsible for the Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®; http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov), an integrated system of toxicology and environmental health databases that are available free of charge on the web.
We welcome comments and feedback at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/feedback.html or via firstname.lastname@example.org
PubMed Toxicology Subset Strategy
The PubMed Toxicology subset strategy was extensively revised in February. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/pubmed_subsets/tox_strategy.html
This strategy was created by NLM's Specialized Information Services to facilitate searching for subjects in the area of toxicology.
This subset can also be used in a search as tox [sb]. (Example: “lead AND tox [sb]”)
The National Library of Medicine TOXMAP (http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov) now includes the 2008 Toxics Release Inventory data (TRI) (http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri08/national_analysis/index.htm).
Other TOXMAP updates include:
TOXMAP maps the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).
A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported to the EPA can be found at http://www.epa.gov/tri/trichemicals/index.htm
The National Library of Medicine TOXNET TRI (Toxics Release Inventory) has been updated.
Support for EPA TRI Form A submissions has been added:
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a resource of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a set of publicly available databases containing information on releases of specific toxic chemicals and their management as waste, as reported annually by U.S. industrial and federal facilities. This inventory was established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). TRI's data, beginning with the 1987 reporting year, covers air, water, land, and underground injection releases, as well as transfers to waste sites. In agreement with the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, source reduction and recycling data is also included in TRI.
The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) in the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides access to TRI as part of its TOXNET® (TOXicology Data NETwork) databases, which cover toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and related areas.
The Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB)
The Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) has added its first set of nanomaterial records. Nanotechnology is the study of matter on an atomic and molecular scale-- structures 100 nanometers or smaller. A nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a meter.
Like other HSDB records, the nanomaterial records are peer-reviewed and contain information on toxicity, manufacturing and use, chemical and physical properties, environmental fate and exposure, and more.
There are currently seven HSDB nanomaterial records:
Information on hollow, spherical or ellipsoidal carbon nanostructures is found in the Fullerenes record. The carbon nanotubes record contains information on tubular or lattice materials.
The fields of nanoparticles and nanostructures, as well as associated nomenclature, are continually evolving. Information and/or records will be added as data become available. The HSDB and nanomaterial records can be accessed at http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB
HSDB is a toxicology data file on the NLM Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®). It focuses on the toxicology of potentially hazardous chemicals. It is enhanced with information on human exposure, industrial hygiene, emergency handling procedures, environmental fate, regulatory requirements, and related areas. All data are referenced and derived from a core set of books, government documents, technical reports and selected primary journal literature. HSDB is peer-reviewed by the Scientific Review Panel (SRP), a committee of experts in the major subject areas within the data bank's scope. HSDB is organized into individual chemical records, and contains over 5,000 such records.
Two new Enviro-Health Links pages have been released:
"Imported (Chinese) Drywall" contains links to resources about the health and environmental problems related to the presence of drywall produced in China.
“Nanotechnology” provides links to materials on nanotechnology uses and environmental concerns. Also included are links to databases, maps, regulations and policy, and TOXNET and PubMed searches.
NLM also offers other Enviro-Health Links on topics such as:
Tox Town, the National Library of Medicine interactive guide to commonly encountered toxic substances, has released a Nanoparticles page. http://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=67
This resource provides a brief summary of nanotechnology and has links to additional resources.
The summary can also be found in Spanish at Nanopartículas
Nanotechnology uses matter at sizes between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers. Nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and working with matter at this scale. Nanomaterials have unique optical, electrical, and magnetic properties. The small size of these materials makes them promising and challenging to work with. However, their characteristics may be different from those of larger particles with the same chemical composition.
There is concern about the interaction of nanoparticles with human health and their effects on the environment. The risk of pollution from nanoparticles and associated health problems to those involved in manufacturing these materials as well as to consumers using these products is unknown.
A Tox Town Bisphenol A (BPA) page has also been released.
Information is provided on where and how one might be exposed to BPA in the environment and how exposure can affect one’s health.
BPA is used to make lightweight, hard plastics and can be found in food and drink packaging and baby bottles. BPA can leach into food and beverages that are stored in these consumer products. More research is needed to determine how these findings affect human health.
The summary can also be found in Spanish at
REMM (Radiation Event Medical Management)
The NLM Radiation Event Medical Management resource (REMM) has been updated:
In addition, REMM has won a bronze in this year's Web Health Awards in the category of web sites produced by the government for health professionals. http://www.healthawards.com/wwwha/ss2009winners/mp_web.html
The Web Health Awards is a program that recognizes the best Web-based health-related content for consumers and professionals. It is organized by the Health Information Resource Center (HIRC) , a national clearinghouse for consumer health information programs and materials. Entries in the Spring/Summer 2009 Web Health Awards Program were evaluated for content and creativity.
REMM is produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Office of Planning and Emergency Operations, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services, with subject matter experts from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and many US and international consultants.
Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER)
An update for the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) for Windows 4.3 is now available. This update corrects a recently reported protective distance mapping issue.
Highlights of this version also include:
WISER for Windows can be downloaded from the WISER web site: http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/downloads_windows.html?email=
WISER (the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. It provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please let us know what you think at http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/feedback.html.
Haz-Map, a database on the effects of occupational exposure to potentially toxic agents from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), has added 265 agents. http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/
These agents include 60 assorted metal compounds, 100 rare earth metals, 10 uranium compounds, and 16 metallic perchlorate compounds. Also added are 9 thiols, 4 sulfites, 20 nitriles, 6 glycol ethers, 4 fluorides, 7 aldehydes, and 5 acid anhydrides.
Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It covers 3218 agents, and 225 occupational diseases.
More information about Haz-Map can be found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/hazmap.html
Class Opportunity: TOXNET® and Beyond
The TOXNET® and Beyond class covers using the National Library of Medicine's Environmental Health and Toxicology Portal.
Classes will be held Wednesday, April 28, 2010, in Bethesda, MD; Friday, May 7, in Lubbock, TX; and Friday, May 14, in Berkeley, CA from 9:00 AM- 4:00PM local time. http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html#class5
This full-day class is designed to convey the basics of searching the NLM's TOXNET, a web-based system of databases in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and related subjects. Students learn the content and structure of files covering toxicology data, toxicology literature, toxic releases, and chemical searching and nomenclature. Among the databases highlighted are TOXLINE®, the Hazardous Substances Data Bank, the Integrated Risk Information System, the Toxic Release Inventory, and ChemIDplus. This class is for U.S. domestic searchers. There are no fees for training but students must cover their own travel and lodging. Classes are held throughout the United States.
The training schedule and other details are available from the National Training Center and Clearinghouse. http://nnlm.gov/ntcc The TOXNET class is awarded 6 MLA continuing education credits. http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html#class5
Follow NLM Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) on Twitter
Twitter is a free service that helps users keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What's happening?
Join today to start receiving NLM_SIS's tweets. http://twitter.com/NLM_SIS
NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L is an email announcement list available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM)'s Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS). The purpose of the announcement list is to broadcast updates on SIS's resources, services, and outreach in toxicology and environmental health.
The NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L Archives allow users to search list postings, and to modify subscription options.
To subscribe to the NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L announcement list, please send the following text in the body of an email to email@example.com: SUBSCRIBE NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L your name or use the list serv web page:
Submitted by Colette Hochstein, D.M.D., MLS (Colette@nlm.nih.gov), Division of Specialized Information Services, NLM
The URL for the Easy-to-Read page on MedlinePlus is rather long. The developers there created a short URL. If you type in http://medlineplus.gov/easytoread, it now redirects to the longer page address at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/easytoread/all_easytoread.html.
Tip from Kelli Ham, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region
Nikki Dettmar, Consumer Connections Editor
I recently testified in support of bill to a state legislative committee. I had done my numbers research - armed with data and statistics for every possible inquiry. The first question I received was, “Do you have any stories?” I was caught off-guard; I had neglected to illustrate my position through the power of story. The story makes it real; the story brings it home, sometimes too close to home. This is the basis of “Gravity Pulls You In.”
The numbers: One child out of every 100 born in the United States will be diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The story: 33 honest, personal, emotional, raw, and truthful stories from parents whose children have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. What is more compelling: the number of 1% of births, or narratives of a mother caring for her dying 34-year-old son, and a riotous father/son outing at Hooters? I vote for the story.
Making sense of the world takes on a whole new meaning in these compelling essays from parents exploring feelings ranging from guilt to anger to acceptance. Raising a child on the autism spectrum requires the retooling of old skills and the honing of new abilities. It necessitates navigating, rethinking, and adjusting – each day, every day. Each story is uplifting and memorable, and completely accessible to any reader – those who know of someone in the autism community, or for those who do not.
Reviewed by: Dana Abbey, MLS National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region Health Sciences Library - University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
Dr. Auerbach's book is the practical "bible" on outdoor and adventure medicine, a must have, not just for travelers and outdoorsmen but also for any general first aid collection in libraries or homes.
Topic selection is excellent, near-comprehensive but manageable, well-structured with primary topics: general information, major medical problems, minor medical, specific environments, and miscellaneous. Appendices include drugs, conversion tables, and prevention. Reference tables range from knot-tying to the Glasgow Coma Scale. Basic knowledge of "how your body and organs are supposed to work" is assumed, with illustrations of performing procedures, or identifying dangerous animals, insects and plants. An illustration list is lacking.
The introduction states "the book is meant to be carried on a journey as a ready reference for a layperson who needs to medically rescue or aid an ill or injured victim," but is not necessarily appropriate for that stated purpose. The book is heavy, with a small font, and should be read in advance. This book is recommended as a base-camp reference, with a smaller companion volume of checklists and bulleted procedures hoped for in future editions. The detailed index includes cross-references, but assumes the reader has extensive knowledge, that the caregiver is uninjured, has full cognitive functioning, and lacks dyslexia or similar concerns that might interfere with access. Checklists, freetext searching, hyperlinking, font and display controls would make the content usable for a broader audience, while an electronic version could reduce weight for backpacking and enable enrichment with content like videos or detailed images.
Reviewed by: Patricia Anderson, Emerging Technologies Librarian,
Health Sciences Libraries, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Marlisa Brown, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, has written a comprehensive three section book on gluten-free living. The first section includes information on symptoms, tests, and diagnosis and discusses what it means to have a gluten allergy or sensitivity. Basic meal planning including gluten-free recipes, lists of foods to avoid and acceptable substitutions, and the importance of reading labels as well as brands that are generally gluten-free with the caveat that brands can and do change their ingredients.
The second section addresses hidden sources of gluten such as some medications, supplements, toothpastes, shampoos, lipsticks, and sunscreens; avoiding cross-contamination, ensuring adequate nutrient intake, and tips on eating out including information/instruction cards for the chef about gluten-free meal preparation. These cards are also available in several different languages and various cultures.
The third section provides tips on how to live gluten-free and helping others to understand the need for constant vigilance. This section also includes a wealth of resources about organizations, research centers, general information, labs, gluten-free drugs, gluten-free traveling, shopping guides, restaurants with gluten-free menus, and a bibliography.
This is a very informative and well-written book on gluten-free living that includes general information about celiac disease and gluten intolerance as well as providing recipes and additional resources. The title provides an accurate description of the content and includes information not routinely found in other books on the same subject. I would highly recommend this book for all types of libraries that serve people looking for health information.
Reviewed by: Allison M. Howard, MLIS, AHIP, Shimberg Health Sciences Library, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Delgado, Jane L. The Latina Guide to Health: Consejos and Caring Answers. Newmarket Press, 2010. 208p. Index. ISBN 978-55704-854-7. $15.95. (Also available in Spanish: La Guia de Salud; Consejos y Respuestas para la Mujer Latina. ISBN 978-1-55704-855-4)
Jane L. Delgado, PhD, MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, is well-known for her groundbreaking book ¡Salud! A Latina’s Guide to Total Health (1997, 2002, in English and Spanish) Again, former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello, MD provides the introduction. While the material covers some of the same topics, the books differ greatly in structure and content.
The English version of the Latina Guide to Health is based on consejos (conversations) and Spanish words with English translations are used in abundance throughout the text. In addition to an expanded section on health conditions, which now includes asthma and hypertension, Delgado focuses on body/mind/spirit and caring for one's family. The health conditions sections are succinct, and include statistics, causes, diagnosis, treatments and resource lists, as well as Delgado’s answers to "Do I have a problem?" and "Can I Get Better?" Appendices provide reproducible sheets to fill in for visits to the health care provider.
What sets this book apart from other women’s health books is the author’s Latina perspective, with information on topics like a sobandera, which is a woman who fixes dislocated bones through therepuetic massage, and the National Hispanic Prenatal Helpline. While photos or illustrations may have enhanced this book, the layout is crisp and clear. Libraries may consider retaining their copies of ¡Salud! as more comprehensive, landmark books, while featuring the Latina Guides to Health as readable, concise handbooks.
Reviewed by: Cara Helfner, Faulkner Hospital, Boston, MA
What a wonderful addition, and novel approach, to the world of patient self-advocacy! Many approaches to health information access and care have been developed, but this is the first opportunity to address the doctor-patient relationship using psychological types. Consumers can use this easy-to-read, often humorous book as a tool for “patient power.” After all, it is our body, they write, and too often there is an unbridgeable chasm between doctor and patient due to unexamined expectations which creates frustration on both sides. The consequences of this disconnect can result in something as small as hurt feelings, or as large as non-compliance and avoidance of treatment for future health concerns.The authors take the view that if we understand our expectations as patients, as well as the physician "type" with whom we are seeking care, that we can build the bridges necessary to get the most out of our healthcare experiences. DeVore, a general practitioner (and “Good Ole Doc” type) and Skinner, a specialist in adult education and personality typing, have identified 4 personality types that, in general, can be found in the different medical specialties. Then they invite us – the patients – to identify an additional 4 types within which we fit. They show the reader an alternative, practical and effective way to change the quality of our healthcare with this new way of approaching the relationships that we have with our doctors.
White Coat Wrinkle should find a place in every consumer health library and could easily become the first book to get a hospital book club up and running.
Reviewed by: Jackie Davis, MLIS, Sharp Health Care San Diego, CA
Genetics Disorders Sourcebook: Basic consumer health information about heritable disorders, including disorders resulting from abnormalities in specific genes, 4th ed, Health Reference Series. Editor Sandra J. Judd. Omnigraphics, 2009, index. ISBN:9789780810761
The Omnigraphics Health Reference series has been published since 1989 and for some public libraries has been a mainstay of their consumer health collection. The Omnigraphic Series has unashamedly been a subject based compilation of consumer oriented materials which were originally published by health awareness organizations such as American Heart and Stroke, or other disease specific organizations. It has served a perceived need to collect such published material in one place, organized in a consistent subject specific format. Omnigrapics volumes alleviated the need to identify, acquire, appraise and organize huge stocks of pamphlet materials.
Currently, when published pamphlets are almost a thing of the past and the vast majority of our patrons have either personal or library internet access, this type of publication is no longer necessary. I particularly question the value of such a book about genetic disorders. Genetics discoveries are seemingly coming daily, and I would not wish to rely on this type of publication, although only a year old, for current information. Instead I would counsel patrons to go directly to either Genetics Home Reference www.ghr.nlm.nih.gov or MedlinePlus www.medlineplus.gov for current consumer friendly genetics resources I believe patrons would be as well served, and you save the cost of the book.
Reviewed by: Elyse Pike, Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound, Canada
Katovitch, Diana M. The Power to Spring Up: Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Students with Significant Disabilities. Woodbine House, 2009. ISBN: 978-1890627959. $24.95
The Power to Spring Up is about the importance, possibilities and planning for education or training for disabled students once they stop being eligible for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) services and move to the provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Part 1 looks at why college classes and vocational training are important for students with significant disabilities. Part 2 profiles academic programs on university campuses for disabled students, and vocational programs for students with special needs. About half the programs profiled are residential programs, many of which are on the Eastern seaboard. The profiles are useful for highlighting what to look for in a program which may be available at a local community college or one that could be tailored to the student. Part 3 is a down-to-earth assessment for the student, parent and school counselor to make of the student’s support needs and ability to benefit from training or college experience.
There is good information in the book but author's emphasis in the first section is on college attendance which may not be appropriate for many developmentally disabled adolescents. This may discourage reading the last section which has much smaller and more manageable goals such as independently attending an exercise class. Parents, counselors and high functioning students will find the lists of questions very useful and it should make planning for adulthood less haphazard. Buy where there is a demand for transition planning information.
Reviewed by: Kate Smith, The Children's Hospital, Aurora, CO
Lashno, Mary. Mixed Signals: Understanding and Treating Your Child's Sensory Processing Issues. Woodbine House, 2010. ISBN 978-1-890627-59-1 198 pp. $19.95
Written by an occupational therapist who is also the mother of an autistic child, this book discusses the mixed signals that children with sensory processing disorders exhibit to the normal stimuli in their environment that is provided by their senses. Using examples of how children with sensory processing disorders have difficulty with social and motor development, the author compares both normal and abnormal sensory processing which is often seen in children with autism or pervasive developmental disorders.
The author reviews the history and terminology of sensory processing as well as the normal evaluation process that needs to be undertaken to diagnose this disorder. An entire section is devoted to sensory integration therapy modalities that are used to treat various expressions of sensory processing. Various examples of therapies are described to encourage the child to become more alert and comfortable with sensory input in order to better socialize with others in their environment.
Parents are encouraged to attend therapy sessions to observe how their child processes information and techniques to assist them in the home environment. Specific techniques reviewed are deep pressure and proprioceptive, brushing with textures, and vestibular input which can be utilized in both under receptive and over receptive children. An index, bibliography and recommended readings are included at the end of the book.
This book is appropriate for collections that focus on the specific issues faced by special needs children, and is written in a conversant style that is appropriate for caregivers and therapists alike.
Reviewed by: Carol Ann Attwood, MLS, AHIP, CHIS, MPH, RN, C, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona
“There are many pathways to and many styles of addiction recovery” (Foreword, p. ix). This opening statement from the book’s foreword provides a succinct summary for this book. The author gives much personal background in almost autobiographical format by way of introduction. His personal story provides insight into the rationale behind his co-founding of an alternative model for self-help groups for individuals seeking addiction treatment programs. One reviewer describes the model for recovery described in the book as "a powerful alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous."
The LifeRing model, outlined in this book, is based on empathy, scientific evidence, and personal choice—the Three "S" Philosophy of Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help. The book elaborates on this model throughout its 200-plus pages, providing numerous quotes, stories, and anecdotes from individuals who have personal experience with the program. It also includes exercises and self tests which are used in the LifeRing training.
This title could be a good addition to the consumer health section of a public or even medical library. The easy-to-read style and self-help genre would be a good fit in these collections, but it should not be considered a reference work on addiction recovery. Martin Nicolaus is a founder and CEO of LifeRing Secular Recovery. In addition to this title he has authored other books on alcohol and drug addiction recovery. He also writes a blog entitled "New Recovery", and is a frequently-requested public speaker. He is by profession a lawyer and previously a professor of sociology.
Reviewed by: Cheryl Rowan, Public Health Outreach Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region, Houston, TX
Piscatella, Joseph C. Positive Mind, Healthy Heart: Take Charge of Your Cardiac Health, One Day at a Time. Workman Publishing, 2010. 328 p. ISBN 978-0-7611-5457-0. $10.95.
The content and scope of this latest of the author's ten books on cardiac health and lifestyle habits is best described by part of its subtitle, One Day at a Time, because it is primarily a collection of 365 motivational quotes, inspirational stories, and health tips. The author is not a healthcare professional but a man who went through cardiac bypass surgery at age 32 and realized that he had to commit himself to a healthier way of living.
The shorter, first part of the book outlines Piscatella’s six simple principles to help a person succeed in being fit for a lifetime: develop resiliency, develop perseverance, take responsibility for yourself and your actions, set realistic goals, get straight information, and have faith. The remainder of the book consists of a year’s worth of tips written in an informal and easy-to-read style. The tips range from a short paragraph written by the author to a health tip (for which there are no references listed) to a single quote by another person (frequently a motivational speaker or sports figure). Due to the nature of the book and its low cost, this book would be more appropriate purchased by individuals for personal use rather than added to the collection of a public library.
Reviewed by: Donna J. McCloskey, MLIS, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville,
Health Information Center, Huntersville, NC.
Rappaport, Nancy. In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide. Basic Books, 2009. 297 p. index. ISBN 978-0-465-01450-7. $25.95.
A suicide is never less than traumatic for survivors, but perhaps especially for one whose mother killed herself leaving behind very young children. In this moving memoir that reads like part detective novel, part psychological portrait of both mother and daughter Rappaport, a Massachusetts child psychiatrist, delves into the circumstances surrounding her mother’s suicide when the author herself wasfour years old. Those circumstances included an infidelity, ensuing divorce and a bitter, public custody trial over the couple’s six children, of whom the author was then the youngest. Her father remarried soon after the divorce and the author had additional half and step-siblings.
Rappaport displays a deft command of both language and tone in her writing, as she transitions between accounts of the events in her family history and her current work with troubled children and adults, each endeavor informing the other. She is never less than honest in her account, acknowledging both her parents’ strengths and failings in navigating the daunting pre-feminist world of divorce in the early Sixties. Rappaport's father disapproved of her “obsession” with the past and broke with her over the writing of this book. (They eventually reconciled.) She indicates that she wrote it to help other families dealing with suicide. In this objective, she surely succeeds if only by providing the example of a sympathetic and experienced survivor with whom the reader might find hope beyond the despair.
In Her Wake would make an excellent addition to most consumer and professional psychology collections.
Reviewed by: Kay Hogan Smith, UAB Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, Birmingham, AL
Robitaille, Suzanne. The Illustrated Guide to Assistive Technology and Devices: Tools and Gadgets for Living Independently. Demos Medical Publishing, LLC, 2010. 207p. index. ISBN 978-1-932603-80-4. $19.95.
Robitaille has written an engaging and witty guide that incorporates anecdotes with a wealth of photographs that enhance what might have been a dry catalog of current assistive technologies available. As much as possible, it is written at a middle school reading level making it readable for many interested in learning about this subject for themselves or family. Examples of how these technologies assist families and individuals are sprinkled liberally throughout this guide. Disabilities covered include visual, auditory, physical, cognitive, learning and communication. Separated logically by disability, there are also chapters on history, legal, financial and future issues for assistive technologies. Descriptions of technologies cover low-tech to high-tech, devices to make work or home life easier and more productive, and costs and learning curves needed help in determining the best tool for each situation and/or person. This scope of coverage makes this guide stand out among comparable works.
Robitaille is a business writer on assistive technologies, writes an assistive technology blog, and has lived with a disability since the age of four. This gives her the perspective to speak from a professional work experience in using assistive devices at work, but also a personal one for everyday life usage of these tools. Recognizing her limitations to fully appreciate the coverage of technologies for various disabilities, she also sought the advice and help of other experts in their respective areas for assistive technologies. This book is highly recommended for public and consumer health libraries focusing on needs of those with disabilities.
Reviewed by: Amy Six-Means, MLIS, Consumer Health Librarian, Novant Health, Winston-Salem, NC.
Rosen, Martin and Leibowitz, Abbie MD. The Healthcare Survival Guide: Cost-Saving Options for the Suddenly Unemployed and Anyone Else Who Wants to Save Money. Health Advocate Publishing, Inc., 2009. 64p. ISBN 978-0-9840696-0-6. $6.95.
Those who have lost a job and without employer-based health insurance may be faced with the daunting task of not only affording healthcare but understanding their health care options. Martin Rosen, cofounder, Chief Marketing Officer, and Executive Vice President of Health Advocate, Inc. along with cofounder Abbie Leibowitz, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President collaborated to author the book.
The book begins with general information about COBRA with eligibility requirements, a timeline for enrolling, and information on enhanced COBRA. Information on government programs including state Medicaid programs and offices, Medicare: Parts A and B, Advantage, Part D and Medigap is included. State high risk pools are mentioned along with healthcare for vets and free/low cost health centers.
A section compares different types of health plans and provides a chart outlining various plans, catastrophic health insurance, and preventive health plans. The authors recommend cost cutting measures such as shopping around for doctors and using a primary care doctor instead of a specialist for care, and lists ways to obtain medications for free or at a discount.
An index of a complete list of resources would have been helpful but most are easy to find within the text. While the information provided is an excellent starting point for the unemployed, many may still need additional help. Overall the book provides well written general information and many excellent sites for assisting the uninsured, however readers should be aware that the authors are also promoting their own companies to provide additional assistance – for a price.
Reviewed by: Dana Ladd, Community Health Education Center, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences. Richmond, Virginia.
Stachowiak, J. Ph.D. The Multiple Sclerosis Manifesto: Actions to Take, Principles to Live By. New York: Demos Medical Publishing, LLC, 2010. 338p. references, resources, and index. ISBN 978-1-932603-44-6. $19.95
This consumer health publication offers readers both a detailed description of the biomedical aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease of the central nervous system, and a personal account of the author’s experience with the most common type of MS. The focus is on personal coping with this life-long and incurable illness and maintaining quality of life despite the debilitating nature of this condition. Issues pertaining to interactions with others, such as disclosure of MS status; negotiating treatment options with physicians, and navigating the healthcare system regarding coverage of expensive medications are comprehensively addressed. Exploring unconventional treatments through participation in clinical trials and the use of various types of complementary and alternative therapies is discussed. Advocacy and activism to reduce barriers for those with MS and increase funding for MS treatment and research is the subject of the final chapter.
The author has a doctorate in epidemiology from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in 2004, is currently the Guide to MS at About.com and the mother of twins. Her academic credentials and status as someone with multiple sclerosis make her uniquely qualified to write about this complicated disease with expert knowledge and great sensitivity. The intended audience for this book is those with MS. Dr. Stachowiak encourages those with MS to be proactive, assertive, and confident, in managing their MS. Finding current information about MS is key. She provides useful tips for locating high quality information about MS on consumer health websites, as well as mentioning both the benefits and shortcomings of MS information obtained from online forums, discussion groups, and blogs.
Reviewed by: Christine Marton, MSc, MISt, PhD Cand., Adjunct Instructor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
Wingert, Pat & Kantrowitz, Barbara. The Menopause Book. Workman Publishing, 2009. 532 p. index. ISBN 10: 0761155988; ISBN 13: 978-0-7611-5598-0. $17.95.
Originally published in 2006 as the award winning "Is it hot in here? Or is it me?," this revised and updated book provides balanced and comprehensive information about menopause. Wingert and Kantrowitz are journalists and co-authors of a column at Newsweek.com that frequently discusses women’s health issues. They write in a straightforward style that encourages women to take a more active role in their health.
The book contains three sections, the first consisting of an overview of menopause and the use of hormone treatment to address menopause symptoms. While minor changes have been made to most chapters in this new edition, coverage of hormone treatment includes additional information about recent controversies in this area, including the use of bioidentical hormones. The second section’s chapters provide in depth information about the most problematic menopause symptoms: hot flashes, problems with sleep, sex, bleeding, body aches, mood and memory. Chapters in the final section address other issues that affect women as they reach menopause and later: bone health, vision and hearing, heart problems, cancer, diet and exercise, and concerns about skin and hair.
The book concludes with two appendices; one provides helpful tables, charts and references supporting the information provided in each chapter, while the second contains lists of suggested resources. The latter appendix begins with a helpful paragraph about finding reliable health information online, including criteria to use when assessing websites. The Menopause Book is broader in scope and more comprehensive than other recent titles on this topic, and is highly recommended for all consumer health collections.
Reviewed by: Deborah Magnan, Samuel and Sandra Hekemian Medical Library, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ
Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer and Patient Information Section of the Medical Library Association. It is published on the CAPHIS website quarterly. Notification of publication is sent via the CAPHIS listserv. CAPHIS is the largest section of the Medical Library Association.
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